UK facing food shortages and price rises after extreme weather

The UK faces food shortages and price rises as extreme weather linked to climate breakdown causes low yields on farms locally and abroad.

Record rainfall has meant farmers in many parts of the UK have been unable to plant crops such as potatoes, wheat and vegetables during the key spring season. Crops that have been planted are of poor quality, with some rotting in the ground.

The persistent wet weather has also meant a high mortality rate for lambs on the UK’s hills, while some dairy cows have been unable to be turned out on to grass, meaning they will produce less milk.

Agricultural groups have said the UK will be more reliant on imports, but similarly wet conditions in European countries such as France and Germany, as well as drought in Morocco, could mean there is less food to import.

Dr Paul Behrens, an associate professor of environmental change at Leiden University in the Netherlands, said: “We should all be extremely concerned. We need to be doing everything to reduce emissions while transforming our food systems.”

He added: “If we don’t … I expect huge turmoil and escalating prices in the next 10 to 20 years. When food prices spiral we always expect political instability. I wish people understood the urgent climate threat to our near-term food security.